Office of Insurance
Former Funeral Director Arrested On 20 Criminal Charges
News Release Contact: Ronda Sloan
(502) 330-1804 - cell
FORMER FUNERAL DIRECTOR ARRESTED ON 20 CRIMINAL CHARGES
Allegedly pocketed at least $80,000 intended for prepaid funeral arrangements
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2007) – Richard A. Justice, 53, a former funeral home operator in Pikeville, was arrested this afternoon and charged with 19 felonies and one misdemeanor ranging from insurance fraud, theft, violations of the Kentucky Funeral Trust Act, and acting as a funeral director without a license.
The Insurance Fraud Investigation division of the Kentucky Office of Insurance (KOI) began investigating Justice in October 2006 following a consumer complaint. An elderly woman alleged Justice had collected funds for a prepaid burial arrangement but did not send the money to an insurance company or place it in a trust, as is required by law.
As a result of the initial complaint, the KOI investigation uncovered 11 additional victims with similar issues. KOI estimates that Justice pocketed at least $80,000 from senior citizens as part of the scheme.
The Justice Funeral Home closed in late 2006. The complaint alleges that he operated the facility without the proper license since August 2004.
Justice faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 on each count (or twice the amount of gain), or both.
He is being held in the Pike County Jail on a $2 million bond.